A Note On Sleepy Greenies
First off, I want to apologize for any delays I've
caused here; I had to visit my sister as she had her
first baby. Traumatically enough, I am now endowed with
the title of, "Uncle." The benefit of spoiling
the child is secondary to the whole issue, but she is a
cute kid, and it'll be fun to make my sister's life
On to topic matter. While this may sound like some kind of horrible mucus-related incident, it's actually in regards to what is probably my favorite card reprinted in 7th Edition: Hibernation. While playing in a quick tournament this weekend, I was able to once again witness the power of this spell out of the sideboard. In my opinion, this card has a greater impact on blue decks in the present environment than anything else that I've seen in the set. You may not believe me, but that may be because you forest-dwellers haven't had every single permanent in play zapped back to your hand anytime recently.
Let's take a quick look at what this card more or less replaces, first of all: Wash Out. It still has merits, and is still very useful. But honestly, how many times has the statement been made: "Man, this would be broke if it were an instant!" Well....no kidding!!! But now, you *have* it at instant speed. And cheaper! It may not fit into main decks, but it does the job so much better than it's counterpart, that it really isn't worth comparing.
Look at two decks that are still being played in which this will make a huge difference. Blue skies, with all it's speed, can still be run over by a million little fungi and Blasto-things. But take care of that all in one shot during a convenient end-step, and it can make quite the difference. This matchup has been swinging into the favor of Fires over recent months, a good deal on the merits of Flametounge Kavu. Suddenly, I wonder if this might be the tool this deck needs to be revitalized. The time advantage generated here is just fabulous, and is just what Skies needs to be able to finish off an opponent. The other primary decks that it affects are Counter Rebel and Nether-Go, and it simply gives them turns to stabilize. If they stabilize, they win. It's not much more difficult than that.
Am I saying that this is better than Perish? In the present day, yes. There are plenty of situations where Hibernation is simply going to do more for you; Fires and Burst are cards where this is the most obvious, where the resolution of Hibernation is a complete disruption of the green players mission. They practically have to start from scratch. Meanwhile, you are sitting on counters, happily waiting to get yourself set up for victory. This can change the entire mindset of a Fires player during sideboard, and make tough choices even more difficult, not to mention the mental disadvantage this can give to the green player. Total disruption of confidence isn't the best of things, and can lead to wins just on that basis.
So, where am I going with this? Just wanted to make sure everyone was aware what this card was all about; you newer players may have never gotten to play during the "fun" that was the cycle (see also: torture) of Urza's Saga. Hibernation is one of those unpleasant surprises that you are never really prepared for, and it is almost always a lose-lose situation: overcommit, and you get wrecked, or hold back, and just fail to win. There's not really a good way to get around it. Get used to it; blue is getting better again, and green is getting worse. With Apocalypse coming in less than a month, and Odyssey just around the corner, what could we see coming from those rascals over at WotC? Hopefully, they'll keep up the marvelous work they've been doing lately, as Invasion and Planeshift have been simply fantastic, and have managed to breathe some real life back into this game.
Finally, a quick reminder to you guys, the viewing public. I just want to encourage everyone to send me ideas; if they are good enough, I'll be glad to post them on the website and go over them. If they're bad enough, they'll also get posted, and we'll see what might be done with it. And I'd like to thank the folks who emailed me this week; it does my ego good, and I'm glad to be of help. Take care, folks, and feel free to ask away...just be prepared to deal with consequences. You don't survive the Helpdesk without a strong sense of humor and cynicism.